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Surgery in Jehovah’s Witnesses


This is a retrospective study of the outcome of surgical procedures in patients who were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Over a 75-month period, 58 Jehovah’s Witness patients had 78 surgical procedures at the Vancouver General Hospital. Three patients had preexisting anaemia of less than 100 g·L−1 haemoglobin. Postoperative haemoglobin concentration decreased below 50 g·L−1 in three patients. One patient had a postoperative haemoglobin of 34 g·L−1 (haematocrit 10.1 per cent) and survived. One patient died from uncontrollable postoperative haemorrhage. Perioperative morbidity was not uncommon, including significant hypotension (eight cases), cardiac arrhythmias (six), myocardial ischaemia (three), excessive bleeding (four), postoperative nausea or syncope (four), and wound or urinary tract infection (four).


Nous avons revu notre expérience d’interventions chirurgicales pratiquées chez des Témoins de Jéhovah. Echelonnés surplus de six ans, 58 Témoins subirent 78 interventions au Vancouver General Hospital. Trois d’entre eux avaient en pre-op, une hémoglobine de moins de 100g·L−1. En post-opératoire, l’hémoglobine de trois patients est descendue sous les 50 g·L−1 et même jusqu’ à 34 g·L−1 (hématocrite de 10,1 pour cent) chez un survivant. En post-opératoire, les complications n’itaient pas rares: hypotension (huit cas), arythmie cardiaque (dix cas), ischimie myocardique (trois cas), nausée ou syncope (quatre cas), infection de plaie ou infection urinaire (quatre cas), diathise himorragique (quatre cas) et une hémorragie incontrôlable qui emporta un patient.


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Correspondence to David H. W. Wong.

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Wong, D.H.W., Jenkins, L.C. Surgery in Jehovah’s Witnesses. Can J Anaesth 36, 578–585 (1989).

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Key words

  • Anaesthesia: Jehovah’s Witness
  • Complications: anaemia, bleeding, cardiac ischaemia
  • Organizations: Jehovah’s Witnesses